Sunday, June 18, 2006


Conversation with my niece, age 4, and my nephew, age 6, on a swingset.
Niece: I'm a pretty princess! Push me, make me go high!

Me: [pushing her] You know, there were a lot of very strong, brave princesses!

Niece: Na-uh!

Me: No, really! There were princesses who put on armor and swords to fight dragons! And some princesses even led armies. They were very brave.

Niece: No, no, no. Princesses wear pretty dresses and are pretty and are princesses.

Me: Well, imagine pretty princesses who are also very brave and strong! After all, some princesses have become queens; it's important that they know how to rule.

Nephew: Silly! This is America. There aren't any kings or queens in America!

Me: Okay, that's true...

Nephew and Niece: [laugh at silly Auntie Jackmormon].


Wish me luck: tomorrow I have to ingratiate myself with someone who once truly believed in monarchy.


Update: Why should I make an individual into a metonymy for an entire political system? Am I so afraid of my envy of that sort of givenness, or so ungenerous as to make the available individual the scapegoat of my ideological disapproval?


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